Tag: Burton Albion

The Promotion Jitters

Burton Albion lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet United in the Blue Square Premier on Wednesday night. There was, in itself, nothing extraordinary about this, but this defeat marks the third successive match that the once runaway leaders of the league have failed to win and, whilst they are still comfortably clear at the top of the table, their lead, which had been in double figures with several games in hand, is down to just eight points with two games in hand. Bookmakers have already paid out on them winning promotion into the Football League, and this is starting to look like a shakier decision that it did a couple of weeks ago. They’re not the only team at the top of a table to be feeling the heat. We’ve covered AFC Wimbledon on here before – three successive draws has seen their lead at the top of the Blue Square South whittled away – but their football nemesis, the Milton Keynes Franchise, have also slumped in recent weeks, drawing four successive matches at the top of League One to drop out of the automatic promotion places, although they have games in hand on the teams above them too. In the Blue Square North, Tamworth scrambled a 2-1 win against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, but this was their first win in three matches, and they have been overhauled at the top...

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Stupid Boy

Upon reflection, this week probably wasn’t the best week to start reading “The Damned United”, David Peace’s outstanding debut novel about Brian Clough’s ruinous forty-four days in charge at Leeds United. Clough comes across in it as frustrated to the point of being a tortured soul, the massive ego becoming a security blanket against the impotent rage of having his playing career finished before its time, and against the psychological frailties that come with never having quite made it at the top level of English football. In tandem with Peter Taylor at Hartlepool United and Derby County, Clough channeled his inner rage into taking teams from nowhere and lifting them above their natural station. He took Hartlepool from the bottom of Division Four to a close shave with promotion and Derby County into Division One and then on to the League Championship and the semi-final of the European Cup. Brian’s inner demons and frailties have been copiously discussed elsewhere, so we’ll leave him there. NIgel, on the other hand, in a blank sheet of a man. He managed a shade over ten years at Burton Albion, taking them from the Northern Premier League to the top of the Blue Square Premier and having the temerity to hold Manchester United to a draw in the FA Cup Third Round on the way. Burton’s maxim over this period of time has...

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